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March 16, 2018

Myles Martin

Bo Nickal

Cleveland, Ohio

184 pounds

Myles, that's a guy that beat you last year. You've obviously improved a lot. Was that match in the back of your head, and talk about your improvement in general.

MYLES MARTIN: Yeah, he beat me last year at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and I didn't think about it a whole lot, I just took some key aspects away from the match. I knew it was really funky. I knew he liked to win those really close matches, takedown at the end. I knew I needed to score in the beginning, and I did it. But I still kept coming, and I knew eventually I would get some points and I would start scoring. So yeah.

Q. Myles, you're the first Buckeye to put yourself in the finals, and obviously you guys have that aspect that everyone talks about, this whole team thing and really kind of being pretty selfless. Talk about that and kind of the ups and downs of being with Ohio State in this round and being able to kind of push through that on your own.
MYLES MARTIN: Yeah, I think since I got to Ohio State, I noticed that when guys were graduating, they were building this new culture. I noticed how close the guys were, and I noticed that they loved me, and I wasn't used to that, just from kind of traveling, being on different teams. So that's one of the things first I knew, and they're really strong in their faith, so Christ played a huge part in their lives. I liked that a lot. We have these built-to-lead things. It's called Chet, so it's like team bonding meetings and stuff, so that's really brought us real close. When we compete out here, we're all pumping each other up just because we care about other, and it's really cool just to see my friends do really well, people I love a lot. So I think I'm really close to my teammates, so it's really cool.

Q. Going off that, you guys had three losses in the semifinals. How important was it for you to be the guy to push over the top and get to the final?
MYLES MARTIN: I wasn't really thinking about that. I just wanted to stay calm and relaxed before my matches because I knew the semifinals were going to be tough, and the crowd is going to get into it. So it sucks that those guys lost, and I felt it when they did lose, but I tried not to get caught up in it a whole lot because I've still got to do my part for the team as well. I kind of just stayed -- I controlled my emotions and then was able to compete and do well for my teammates and for the Buckeye fans.

Q. How tough is it for you to guys to realize that it's probably not going to happen as far as the team championship right now?
MYLES MARTIN: It sucks, but just got to keep wrestling. We're here to compete, and we love the sport, so I mean, it sucks for the coaches, but for me, I'm worried about myself as far as competing, and then obviously that does well for the team, as well. But I've just got to do my part and hope everyone else does their part. I can't control the team score. I can't control what everyone else is doing, I can only control what I do. It sucks because obviously we wanted a team title, but I've just got to do my part and control what I can control.

Q. How would you describe your -- is it a rivalry now that you have with Nickal? How would you describe it?
MYLES MARTIN: I guess you can call it a rivalry. He's really tough. I'm really tough, and it's always fun watching us compete. But when I wrestle him tomorrow, I'm just going to throw all my attacks, get him on my offense. If I lose, I'll know he beat the best of me, not I wish I could have done this, I wish I could have done that. I just want to put it all out there and compete to the best of my ability with God on my side.

Q. Freshman year, obviously you lost to Bo three times coming in. What does that experience help you with coming in this time, coming off two losses to him, and what is it like facing the same guy nine times in three years?
MYLES MARTIN: It's tough to beat someone that many times when you wrestle them so much and you start to figure each other out. But I take a little bit away from those matches, but going into a match, it's not going to be the same just because you never know what happens in wrestling. I'm just excited to see what happens. I was excited the other eight times I competed against him just to see what happened. Sometimes it went my way and sometimes it didn't, but it's wrestling, it's life, you move on from it, so I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow.

Q. Bo, what is it collectively about the team that makes you guys able to really turn on on the big stage here when you really have to?
BO NICKAL: I think that that just has to do with treating every match the same and being able to not let the moment get the best of you, just we've been training to be national champions, a lot of us, since we started wrestling since we were five years old. And we treat every match the same, so it doesn't matter whether you're on the big stage or in a regular duel, although what I call a regular duel is a pretty big stage. I mean, I think that just helps a lot with being ready for this and just that consistency that we have as a team and treating every match the same.

Q. It seems like a repeat of last year. Does it feel like that? And going into the NCAAs, is that what you thought about as a team?
BO NICKAL: I think that as a team we just thought about giving our best effort every match and not really worrying too much about like how the outcome turns out, just focusing on our effort, and if we give 100 percent effort and wrestle to the best of our ability, then everything else will take care of itself.

Q. Bo, you've wrestled Abounader relatively close twice this year. You're known for opening it up. What makes it hard to do that against him?
BO NICKAL: I think that he -- he's obviously a really strong wrestler. He's pretty jacked, and so just -- that strength adds a lot to it, and he kind of wants to squeeze my head and stuff like that a lot. I think that the second match I wrestled just -- I wouldn't say tentatively, because I was pretty aggressive, but just more methodical than I normally do. I got a couple takedowns and was looking for my openings, and he kind of just stayed solid.

I was a little surprised because he's down, he's losing the match, he's not really taking any attacks, but that's kind of expected as pretty much most of the guys that I wrestle do that. But I'm just going out there trying to use every second that I have and make the most of it. I kind of had to play that match out a little more methodically than I do most matches. But at the end of the day, I got my hand raised, so that's what is important.

Q. What's it mean to now have a guy that you're going to be wrestling for the ninth time in your college career, and when you have that kind of history, how does that change what happens in the next match?
BO NICKAL: I don't know. I mean, this would be the first time that I've wrestled him for the ninth time, so I just treat every match the same, like I said. He's a really strong wrestler. He's really tough, so I'm excited to have that opportunity and to be able to go out there and compete for a national championship because that's what I trained for. It doesn't really matter who it's against, but this being our ninth time wrestling, we're really familiar with each other, and so I think that you can look at it a couple different ways. You can look at it as like, oh, we know a lot of what we're going to do. He knows what I'm going to do, I know what he's going to do. But in my mind I don't even know what I'm going to do. So if he's trying to figure it out, then good luck.

Q. Talk about just kind of a lot of you guys come through, and really saying I'm just playing my part and really taking care of the things that I can take care of and the team race takes care of itself. How do you step away from all that and take care of the individual thing?
BO NICKAL: Yeah, I think for me, it's not getting so much into the matches. I really get emotionally involved in a lot of the matches, and I have a lot of friends that are wrestling out here that aren't even on my team necessarily, so watching the matches is easy for me to get emotionally involved. So I try to just sit back and relax and not really pay too much attention to any of the other matches going on or anything like that. I just focus on what I have to do, what I have to get done, and that makes it really easy on me because I only have to focus on one person. My coach has to focus on 10 guys or 9 guys that we have here. I only have to focus on myself, and that makes it really simple.

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